- 18 Sep 18
John Boyne’s latest novel, A Ladder To The Sky, tackles literary ambition and the pitfalls that come with it. He talks about his own early searches for a publishing deal, back-biting in the book world, and entering a fertile writing period.
Now onto his 11th novel – his glittering CV also boasts extensive journalistic ouput and several YA books – John Boyne has finally reached a comfortable stage in his writing career.
“I remember Kazuo Ishiguro saying that between the age of 40 and 60 is the best time in a writer’s life,” he smiles. “I’m 47 now and I do feel full of energy and enthusiasm. The last few books are all kind of different and, I hope, interesting. I feel like I’m in a good place creatively at the moment.”
Boyne’s latest novel centres on an area that he’s all-too-familiar with – that of the rocky road to publishing. A Ladder To The Sky follows a young Yorkshire man, Maurice Swift, whose charm, good looks and networking abilities allow him to attach himself to various prominent, and susceptible, authors in order to further his own career. His tactics gradually veer from emotionally exploitative to downright criminal as the novel progresses.